I want to warn you there is going to be a custody battle in my neighborhood that will make Britney Spears and K-Fed look like United Parents of America.

You all remember my column some months back where I told you of my little red rooster who showed up in my front yard and stayed for a week, happily running to greet me in the morning and wait for his bread and cereal. I was so concerned about the pending winter that I asked farmer Elisha Smith and his wife, Denise, to try to catch him and bring him to their farm. Elisha says he can tell by looking at him that he’s an old rooster, but he was still too spry for the net. I named him Fred.

I contacted our devoted animal control officer. She couldn’t catch Fred either. As the nights became colder, I took a clean trash bin, turned it sideways, and filled it with soft leaves. I don’t know if Fred used it, but he always showed up for breakfast. Then he went missing for a week, and I was so worried. Finally, he reappeared, this time happily and safely ensconced in the middle of the flock of turkeys that roam our neighborhood daily. I guess this disproves the adage that birds of a feather flock together. However, it re-confirms the sayings about any port in a storm, and necessity is the mother of invention. Well, at least he has company, I thought.

Then I had to leave for my sojourn with family in New York and Illinois. I asked a friend, Leidi, to feed my dogs and cat and to look after Fred. I actually had her arrive one morning in time to see how I took care of Fred and the turkeys. So I don’t think you could say I abandoned him.

Apparently, when I left, our stalwart town hall staffer Aase Jones enlisted the aid of her daughter. They built a shelter for Fred. They named him Rudy. Now, if it isn’t enough of an identity crisis for a rooster to be running with the turkeys, poor Fred/Rudy now has two names and two mothers. Looks like family court to me!

I came home to many wonderful holiday cards and gifts that had not arrived before my departure. One of my favorites was a lovely note from Mark and Patricia Nothnagle who worked so hard on our Island but have now retired to Florida. Turns out Patricia recently had her third bike accident and broke her kneecap. She has mended well, but retired from bicycling, something I never thought I would see. Mark and Patricia have found a lovely home at Samaritan Village of Kissimee, right near Orlando, which will be more accessible for them. They will be moving this month. They are pleased that no hurricanes touched down in their area these past two seasons. Mark is about to retire and, as always, is looking forward to doing a lot of volunteering. They send their love to all their Island friends and most especially to the crew at our library. If you would like their new address, give me a shout.

Speaking of the library, the children’s department hosts a special event Thursday, Jan. 17 at 3:30 p.m. for ages six and up. Lisa Amols will lead the youngsters in stretching and strength exercises. A great start for the new year.

The Charter School stays ever-active. Commencing their third year of five-course international dinners, the glorious fare of India is available for you tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the elegant Dr. Daniel Fisher house in Edgartown. Ticket price is $55 per person. You are invited to bring your own beverage. Funds raised will benefit the middle school students’ annual international trips. For a reservation, call 508-693-9900 or Midnight Farm at 508-693-1997. I’ll see you there.

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Society has a great, but R-rated, movie on board for tomorrow night at 7:30, so get a sitter and don’t bring the youngsters. It is The Great World of Sound, which follows two would-be record producers as they try to learn the ins and outs of their new profession. The Katharine Cornell Theatre opens doors at 7 p.m. so you can get a good seat and chat with your friends beforehand. Can I finish a five-course dinner and make it to this movie on time? Tune in next week to see.

Anniversary bouquets go out to Bob and Carol Clark on Jan. 12.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Tony Nordquist, Brittany Blacker, Judy Thomas, Debbie Morelli and Sara Rose Kuehne today. Tomorrow is shared by Nathalie Penicaud and Gay Nelson. Jan. 13 belongs to Virginia Grant, Yvette Rigaud, Marilyn Manning and Allan Davey. Jan. 14 is a party for Peter Tileston, Anne Dudley Williamson and Nora Cowett. Jan. 15 remembers Martin Luther King Jr., as well as Jackie Richardson and Barbara McCahill. Jan. 16 honors Maribeth Roden, Thaw Malin, Joaquin Balbino and Myra Romain. And on Jan. 17, Rosemary Gambino takes the cake. Many happy returns.